How to Make Zucchini Pasta - Julienner vs. Box Grater

Zucchini is NOT pasta. 

But if you'd like to use it instead of pasta, go for it. It's good for you, it carries sauces and dressing well, it's less filling and calorific than pasta, and it's bloody easy to make. 

vegetarian lunchraw food

How do you make zucchini pasta? I've seen it made with a special veggie spiralizer, a julienner and a box grater, and here's what I think about each.

Veggie spiralizer: this is probably what the restaurants use, because it makes a lovely, rounded noodle. BUT. Do you need another device in your cupboard? Do you need to spend $40 to make the occasional zucchini noodle? Probably not. 

Box grater: simple, and you're likely to have one in your cupboard already. BUT. This is more like shredded zucchini than long, lean, smooth noodles. You can see what I mean in the photo below. My opinion? (So glad you asked :) ) Save graters for grating. 

Julienner: I've waxed lyrical about these before, and I'm going to do so again now. LOVE LOVE LOVE my julienner. I use it all the time to make raw veggies interesting - carrots, beets, and - yep - zucchini. Long strokes along the squash, avoiding the seedy middle, gives you decent zucchini noodles with minimal effort, cost and storage space. Spend $7-10 on a quality julienner and you will not regret it.

zucchini noodles 101 : julienner (left) vs. box grater (right)

And what are you going to do with your zucchini noodles? Try them in this persimmon salad (substitute zucchini for the cucumber) or smothered in pesto (courtesy of Julie and Sarah) or warmed and tossed with brussels sprouts and hazelnuts and *butter* (courtesy of Carrie) or marinated in mint and mango (courtesy of David, Luise and Elsa).

Basically, use your noodles as a gluten-free and raw (if you don't cook them) alternative to spaghetti any way you like, salad-wise or pasta-wise. Zucchini LOVES tomatoes or sesame or mayonnaise or butter (and who doesn't?) so play around with flavour genres depending on what's in season, and what you feel like.

Zucchini's not pasta. But who cares? Go for it.
Amanda xx